Lux Nova undertook a project for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Western Isles Council in Scotland, to analyse the potential to utilise local renewable and low carbon assets for local energy supply and exploring alternative models of electricity supply, distribution and purchase.
This project was focused on developing the potential for the Outer Hebrides community to purchase a proportion of energy generation from local renewable energy generators (at the time, mostly wind energy). The aim was to create a community owned Energy Supply Company (ESCO) to retail this electricity to the local market at a competitive price. By making a connection between local generation and local consumption, an Outer Hebrides ESCO was envisioned as enabling the utilisation of renewable energy to directly reduce fuel poverty levels.
Simultaneously, it was anticipated that this would allow for an exploration of the potential for innovative solutions in local energy management, supply and storage, to reduce grid connection costs and the carbon footprint of the Outer Hebrides.
Together with the other consultants engaged on the project, we concluded that an ESCO of this nature is viable within the Outer Hebrides, offering both economic and environmental benefits. We hope that our recommendations will be taken forward and a body of this nature established to benefit the local population.